Mikel Arteta named a really strong XI, and there was no room for excuses against a Leeds United team that, while they might very well come up this season, do not as yet have anything like the resources on paper.
Here’s how it went down…
A couple of long balls from Leeds unsettled Arsenal and Guendozi was always drawn into a foul - not that he needs any second invitation.
Leed’s Phillips had useful balls in but somehow, Bamford always had the ball going wide.
Bielsa’s men came close to taking the lead several times with Arsenal players like Ozil doing almost nothing in the half but they couldn’t convert their chances.
Alioski came close in the 33rd minute after winning a header in a battle with Sokratis, six yards out.
The ball came flying towards the top left but Martinez, channeling his inner David Seaman, clawed it out sensationally.
By the 43rd minute, stats were showing that Ozil had touched the ball only nine times.
Leeds United: 63% possession, and had 15 attempts on goal to Arsenal’s three.
HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Leeds United
Now, this was Arsenal’s half.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United (Nelson 55)
Arsenal’s post-break pressure paid off!
Pepe won the ball in midfield and drove down the inside-right channel. He slipped the ball wide right for Lacazette, who tried to return it, but the ball was deflected towards Nelson instead.
Young Nelson doesn’t quite connect properly, six yards out, but manages to bundle the ball over the line anyway.
Leeds tried to get something from the game and take the match back to Elland Road, but Harrison and Patrick Bamford could not just put the ball in the net!
Leeds played some beautiful football, yes, but what is beautiful football if it doesn't get you goals?
FULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United
This was clearly a game of two halves, and no mistake, Leeds were totally dominant in the first half, but couldn’t find the net.
Arsenal turned the tables in the second half, and Reiss Nelson scored the goal that made the difference.
Arsenal will travel to Bournemouth in the fourth round!
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